Pubdate: Sun, 20 Feb 2000
Date: 02/20/2000
Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: Joseph D. Mc Namara
Note: Headline supplied by MAP

To the Editor:

You point out (editorial, Feb. 13) that the Clinton administration's
plan to give almost a billion dollars to Colombia's military overlooks
that past aid to Latin American military organizations has often been
used to commit atrocities against their own citizens.

As police chief of Kansas City and San Jose, Calif., I was exposed to
federal schemes to shore up Latin American governments and to get
their farmers to grow coffee and other crops instead of opium and
cocaine. These proposals failed because the laws of supply and demand
and huge profits created by prohibition defeat foolish drug laws
passed by Congress.

Our experiment with alcohol should have taught us that prohibition
wastes money, creates violence and corruption, and fails to lessen
drug use.

Stanford, Calif., Feb. 14, 2000

The writer is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.